May 19 2013 Latest news:
Friday, May 27, 2011
Read Nigel Winterburn’s exclusive Arsenal column here every week
It has been a hugely disappointing season for Arsenal, to end up fourth after so much looked to be possible just three months ago.
Everything looked possible then, but the way the team have imploded will have told Arsene Wenger an awful lot about them, and I fully expect there to be quite a few changes at the club this summer.
Arsene has put his faith in these players and they have not delivered. It is as simple as that for me, and now I expect some of them to leave and others to be brought in.
Most supporters want to see big-name, big-money signings, not so-called ‘unheard of’ players, but the money or the name is not important in my opinion, what Arsenal need now are players of character.
When the pressure points of the season have come along in the last three of four years, they have nearly always folded, and players need to come in who have the right mental strength.
The big question for the summer is, of course, will Cesc Fabregas stay at the Emirates. I must admit, I have my doubts.
Cesc clearly wanted to go last to Barcelona last year, but he is under a long contract at Arsenal and is not the type of player to kick up too much of a fuss. He has too much respect for his manager and club to do that.
He will always give everything in games, but if he still wants to leave now and go back to Spain then the club will have to think about letting it happen.
Arsenal will call the shots though, and can ask for as much as they like from Barcelona. It would have to be in excess of £30m for a player of Cesc’s calibre who is still only 24.
If he does leave it will give a chance to others, and a chance to maybe alter the style of play in midfield. The current system based on technical ability has been found out in the last few years, and Arsene may look to go in a new direction.
As I said, it should be interesting. Don’t give up hope in Arsenal or Arsene yet.